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Against the backdrop of Matthew 10 (and dare I say what I have shared with you from the pulpit) comes the latest news which you will not find on any of the three major networks, nor possibly even Fox News. It was a shot across the bow of conscience and religious liberty (and one barely heard) but I believe it marks the "official" beginning of religious persecution in America. If the judges' order is allowed to stand then the day has come when Christians are called upon to declare their fidelity to God's Word and not buckle under to the state or suffer the consequences whatever they may be. However, before you read the latest news on the religious liberty front, let me share with you a quote by a German-Lutheran Pastor named Martin Niemoller who spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in various concentration camps. After the war, he said of the Nazi regime this now famous quote:
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.” - Martin Niemoller
The following is a blog posting by Denny Burk, who is an associate professor of Biblical Studies at Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.
"Today, a federal court denied a request to halt enforcement of the abortion pill mandate which forces the Christian-owned-and-operated Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., to provide the “morning after pill” and “week after pill” in their health insurance plan, or face crippling fines up to $1.3 million dollars per day…
Hobby Lobby is the largest and first non-Catholic-owned business to file a lawsuit against the HHS mandate. The Green family has no moral objection to the use of preventive contraceptives and will continue covering preventive contraceptives for its employees. However, the Green family’s religious convictions prohibit them from providing or paying for the abortion-inducing drugs, the “morning after” and “week after” pills, which would violate their most deeply held religious belief that life begins at conception.
You read that right. The United States Government is forcing these Christian business owners to pay for abortion inducing drugs in their employees’ insurance plans. It doesn’t matter that the law violates their religious liberty to conduct business in a way that is consistent with their conscience. Obamacare mandates that these Christians comply or face fines that would put them out of business.
When the controversy over the abortion mandate erupted earlier this year, the American public by and large got the impression that this was about conservatives who wanted to ban contraception. Nothing could be further from the truth. No one wants to outlaw contraception. This controversy is about the fact that the government is forcing pro-life business owners to pay for chemical abortions. It is perhaps the most egregious violation of religious liberty in the history of the United States, yet I’m wondering if anyone is paying attention. Wisdom is crying in the streets. Can anyone hear her?
This cannot stand. This must not stand. This fight is not over. Not by a longshot."